Miles To Go

By Mercer BaggsNovember 6, 2001, 5:00 pm
So, its the end of the season, youve made millions of dollars and youve developed calluses on top of your calluses from playing golf.
 
Time to take a break, right?
 
Well, not everyone.
 
Theres no rest for World No. 1 Tiger Woods. Following this past weeks Tour Championship, Woods now travels to Hong Kong for an exhibition (Nov. 10-11) before going to the World Cup (Nov. 15-18) in Japan, where he and David Duval are the defending champions.
 
Then its off to Hawaii for the PGA Grand Slam of Golf (Nov. 20-21), followed by the Skins Game (Nov. 24-25) in California and his own Williams World Challenge (Dec. 13-16) in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Three weeks later hell be starting the 2002 campaign back in Hawaii at the Mercedes Championships.
 
For Tigers World Cup partner, Duval, its much of the same.
 
Its definitely not the end (of the year) for me, he said. I have a long way to go.
 
In addition to the World Cup, Duval will play in another event in Japan. He will then join Tiger in Hawaii for the PGA Grand Slam, which is for the 2001 major champions.
 
Im excited about making my debut in Japan, Duval said. But it is a long trip. And its not so much about playing five weeks in a row. Its more about the mileage. Thats a lot of traveling to do.
 
Spains Sergio Garcia has already spent the better part of the year traversing the globe, and thats not about to stop now.
 
I am taking one week off, said the 21-year-old. Then I am going to go and play two (events) in Japan, then one in South Africa. Then I will take the week off after that, and then get ready for the Mercedes.
 
Others will be more centralized from now until then.
 
Brad Faxon will compete in this weeks Franklin Templeton Shootout in Miami, Fla., and thats it.
 
Former Florida Gator Chris DiMarco will be living Saturday-to-Saturday.
 
I got a Gator game in South Carolina; Gator game in Gainesville (Florida); Gator game in Gainesville, the SEC Championship and then (the Mercedes Championships), DiMarco said with a laugh.
 
Just football, actually, and family. Family and football, just take some time off and spend some time at home.
 
Like DiMarco, not everyone will be chasing Dollar Bill. PGA Championship winner David Toms still has the Grand Slam, the Hyundai Team Matches (in California, Dec. 7-9) and the Williams World Challenge on his playing schedule; but nothing overseas.
 
'I have already turned down a couple of lucrative deals in Japanand South Africa, he said.
 
I have heard the South Africa tournament (the Nedbank Challenge) is just unbelievable. You go over there, its two million (dollars) for first place, but you drop down to second place, its 300 (thousand dollars) and you are only guaranteed 130 (thousand dollars) to go over there, plus 50% tax, plus 20% to your manager, plus another percentage to your caddie, its like, well, do you want to travel halfway across the world, miss your duck hunting season, fly on airplanes with terrorists all over the place? Why do it?
 
Killing birdies ' or larger creatures ' instead of making them is a favorite of many tour players, and an activity in which many will partake over the next couple of months.
 
Hal Suttons schedule will consist of, huntin and fishin
 
And Frank Lickliter ' the apparent Ted Nugent of golf ' said after the Franklin Templeton Shootout, where hell partner with John Daly, hes going to fly directly from Naples (Florida) to Colorado for the last three days of Elk season out there. Then Im going to try and take Rocco (Mediate) hunting, and probably hunt the rest of that week. Probably not pick up a club for a few days after that and go hunting again somewhere.
 
What else would you expect from a man whose family vehicle is a Hummer.
 
In a sport where the off-season is so short, many players are forced to step away from the game during the year.
 
I had my break already, said Woods. I took five weeks off (from the first of September to the middle of October) to just get away from the game and get my mind and body right and I was able to do that.
 
I travel quite a bit from here on out.
 
Said Duval, You gotta have time off at some point, so I make sure I get four or five weeks off at some point during the year.
 
Due to the length of the schedule and the toll it takes on the body, many of the games top players have reduced the number of events that they play in each year.
 
Duval played in 20 PGA Tour events on the 43-week calendar (not including the canceled WGC-American Express Championship), as did Davis Love III. Tiger played in 19 tour events.
 
The PGA Tour season is certainly more like a marathon than a sprint. But the thought of a tour player actually running 26.2 miles seems slightly absurd, unless youre talking about Justin Leonard.
 
Leonard, who has been doing some training in his free time, is about to put his endurance to the test. He will run in the Dallas White Rock Marathon on Dec. 9. His fianc has already run in three of them, including the New York City Marathon this past Sunday.
 
Leonard, a Dallas native, has a goal of trying to complete the feat in less than four hours.
 
Needless to say, many of the pros wont attempt such a physically demanding endeavor. Theyre more likely to follow in Ernie Els footsteps.
 
Having already recently taken about five weeks off, the South African will play in his homeland, Japan and Australia throughout November.
 
Then, Ill have about three weeks off in December and drink some beer.
 
Now that sounds like an off-season.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.